Social media skills are a must if you want your content to stand out from the fray. Social media platforms--from Facebook and Twitter to Instagram and Pinterest--are loaded with companies vying for users' attention. Here's how to make your content work for you:
Don't Overwhelm Your Customers
Use visuals and cut down on the text. "You need to have an understanding of communicating through visuals," says Kahshanna Evans, founder of Kissing Lions Public Relations. "Curate a thematic social media calendar and break it down into mini campaigns that relate to relevant events and seasons, leaving space, of course, for impromptu and appropriate commentary and community engagement," she says. "And make sure to use infographics--they're fast, fun and easy reads."
Keep It Light
Having a good sense of humor on your media networks can help put people at ease and make them more likely to visit your networks over and over again. Hard sells are turnoffs, but the soft, friendly and funny approach is a turn-on. "Have a fun - people are attracted to fun and funny people. Let it show!" says Stephanie Walters Jackson, CEO of digital and mobile marketing agency Blue Top Marketing, Inc. "Post awesome content - don't post boring stats and stuff. Get the information out, but jazz it up a bit."
Who Are You Talking To?
Make sure to provide content that speaks to your audience. "Know your audience: Who does your business cater to? What is your business objective? Then, what is going to be important to your audience?" says Rosalinda Torres of CCH Marketing + Public Relations, Inc.
Where Will You Find Your Customer?
What social media outlets does your target audience frequent? You don't want to put all your efforts into Facebook when your clients are on Twitter. "Know which platforms make the most sense for their content: Know each platform and the type of content that is shared on those platforms," says Torres.
Do some research and understand each network. "Most business executives don't understand the differences between each platform and how they should be used. For example, they think linking up their Facebook account to Twitter will do the trick. However, Twitter is about a conversation so if you are not tweeting at other handles, then you are not getting the full value," says Lori Riviere, owner of social media marketing firm The Riviere Agency. "I like to tell the executives we provide social media training to the following: Facebook is your company's diary, Twitter is a hybrid between a walkie talkie and a bull horn, Pinterest and Instagram are your company's editorial magazines and LinkedIn is your online Rolodex."
Don't Make These Common Mistakes:
• Stop the hard sell: Stop overselling with dry, outdated marketing commentary about a product/service, says Evans. Adds Jackson, "You're always selling or promoting something - people don't want to be sold to all the time. And, they really don't want constant commercials showing up in their news stream."
• Use that spell check: People expect correct grammar and spelling when they are reading business content.
• Be consistent: "Post once a week or month or quarter. Without consistency, people will not remember you or pay attention to your posts," explains Jackson.
• Keep the info relevant: "Don't share irrelevant content. Don't share things that have nothing to do with your company. You're just wasting your audience's time and your time," notes Torres.
• Don't forget the personal touches: "Don't forget that you represent your company at all times," warns Torres. "This is a cardinal rule that business execs forget all of the time."
• It's called social media for a reason: "It is a mistake not engaging with others. Business execs should be taking part in conversations, not just posting to their own profiles. Social media is a two-way street," says Torres.
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